The City of Chicago Department of Buildings’ Self-Certification Program is used by FitzGerald Associates to save weeks of permitting time. The program—allowing self-certification by registered professionals of certain permit and construction drawings—simplifies the often painfully drawn-out permitting process for generally small-scale interior alterations to commercial spaces and small multi-family buildings.
For more than ten years, FitzGerald Associates has self-certified qualifying projects. The effort is led by a licensed architect who has completed the Department of Buildings’ training classes and is granted oversight over a project’s code compliance with the Chicago Building Code. As a result of this qualification, the Department does not need to conduct their own technical reviews and, in FitzGerald’s experience, permits can be issued in as little as one day. FitzGerald professionals are among the less than 10% of Illinois architects qualified to Self-Certify for its clients with the Department.
“We have Self-Certified dozens of projects for developers, landlords and contractors saving them thousands of dollars in carrying and administrative costs over the years,” notes Associate Principal Ron De La Cruz. As head of FitzGerald’s Self-Certification Department, De La Cruz ensures that the buildings submitted under the program meet the city’s eligibility requirements. “The firm takes full responsibility for code compliance under this program. Some of our designs approved to date include banks, office build-outs, retail stores and medical office space,” he adds.
According to company President Mike De Rouin: “The conventional route to obtaining a permit historically has been an arduous one, easily wasting months of time. The effective and successful Self-Certification program is the rare bureaucratic tool, allowing smaller projects to proceed efficiently through an expedited and customer-driven process.”